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The secret prosecution of Nigerian journalist Jones Abiri

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10.12.2019

A familiar secrecy is set to dominate the renewed prosecution of Nigerian journalist Jones Abiri.

On December 12, Abiri is scheduled to appear again in federal court where he is charged with terrorism, sabotage and cybercrimes. The prosecution say they have new evidence against him, but have asked the judge for permission to keep their witnesses anonymous. In over three years of prosecution, it is only the most recent effort to deny transparency on a case symbolic of broader concerns about press freedom and accountability in Nigeria.

Abiri's trial continues amid a wider crackdown on freedom of the press and free expression in Nigeria. In recent months, several Nigerian journalists have been jailed for their work, while others have been attacked, even killed covering protests.

Omoyele Sowore, a US resident and founder of the Sahara Reporters online newspaper, was arrested on August 3 after calling for nationwide protests and remains in detention. In June, Nigeria's Department of State Security (DSS) also arrested multiple social media users without disclosing their names. Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, has not responded to........

© Al Jazeera